International Transgender Day of Visibility 2022

The LGBT+ Network for Change is delighted to record our happiness at today’s International Transgender Day of Visibility 2022. This day is particularly important to ALL LGB&T community members because visibility has always been and remains the most important way of calling out transphobia, homophobia and biphobia for what they are. For more on International Transgender Day of Visibility, that was initiated in the USA by our Trans community there in 2009, please see:

In the UK, International Transgender Day of Visibility 2022 has been marked by the history making occasion of the first ever Trans community Member of Parliament (MP) Coming Out — the Network salutes Jamie Wallis MP for his courageous and history-making decision which has made international news, as indicated through this link from The Irish Times:

At the same time it is sad to see that in the UK there still exist MPs that remain in ‘dinosaur-like’ denial of the realities since the beginning of time of the huge diversity of gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation and sexuality:

These medieval perspectives however are increasingly being seen for what they are. As seen in the image above from GCN (Gay Community News [Ireland]) regarding South Dublin County Council the tide of history is on our Trans community’s side:

International Women’s Day 2022 — Network article celebrates the day and why it matters

The LGBT+ Network for Change is very pleased to commemorate International Women’s Day 2022 with this short article. 

International Women’s Day (IWD) was initiated for the first time in 1911 and was instituted for the first time by the United Nations in 1975, with March the 8th being selected for the date for annual worldwide commemoration when the UN General Assembly invited UN members across the world to celebrate the day on March 8th.

For LGBT+ peoples across the globe IWD is important as it not only provides an occasion for the world to recognise that lesbian community members and our Trans women’s community members, be recognised as an important part of this global annual commemoration of the rights of women and their contribution to society, families, arts, culture, belief systems, and history, economies, and in daily life as mothers, partners, daughters, granddaughters, grandmothers, but also because in many ways the struggle for gender equality interconnects closely for that concerning our LGBT+ community. 

The rights and quality of life for all females and that for all LGBT+ people interrelate; many of the same archaic and patriarchal forces that have sought to control, often brutally, and oppress women, are mirrored in the story of LGBT+ people.  Advance on rights, protections, and resolution of needs and issues for one community commonly impact positively on the other.  The story of phenomenal advance of LGBT+ human rights in for example the Republic of Ireland have connected powerfully to rapid advance of women’s human rights such as on contraception and abortion.

The brutal murder of Sarah Everard by a serving UK/Metropolitan police officer in early March 2021 coincided, almost to the day with IWD 2021 (, and subsequent revelations of extreme misogynistic ‘cultures’ in a Met Police unit at Charing Cross Police station, and two years before at a Hampshire Police unit (Basingstoke), combined with the aggressive breaking up by the Met Police of a Sarah Everard vigil (almost all women) soon after, shows how much more needs to be done however.  In the UK police forces examples mentioned the same anti-women cultures included equally virulent homophobic and racist cultures. 

We conclude though on a direct and very positive IWD related story note, from Bournemouth.  The LGBT+ Network for Change is in conjunction with Dorset Race Equality Council, joint client for an exciting LGBT international film festival —   — initiative whose main purpose is to raise awareness of our BAME/ethnic minority LGBT+ Community and its needs and challenges in being heard and in regard to its relationship to broader BAME/ethnic minorities and LGBT+ communities. 

This much needed project is being facilitated by a 12-person Bournemouth University (BU) Events Management Department team is in fact an all-female one.  When the project brief was provided by the Network and DREC to the BU department it was seized on as a particularly important and exciting one, and especially so with the department’s female students, who went on two form a two-part 12 person, all female project delivery team!  This is a striking example of the close affinity that exists between our female community and our LGBT+ one, and illustrates the ‘Ally’ concept in a very effective and dynamic way!

LGBT History Month 2022 ends with Network completing Trustee recruitment preparation + finalisation of ethnic minority LGBTQ+ film season project

The Network has seen the end — 28th February — of LGBT History Month 2022 with two important achievements supportive to our development as an organisation at Pan-British Isles level, and for a major advance in one area of our work.

Trustee recruitment:

The last day of February saw finalisation of a set of Trustee recruitment and code of conduct documents that will assist our development of outreach at Board level for Pan-British Isles organisation growth and consolidation, after the Network’s original largely Dorset area initial six years formative and instructive ‘LGB&T Dorset Equality Network’ phase. We wish to record our appreciation to Network Trustee and Honorary Secretary & Public Relations Officer, Ms Ria Patel for her outstanding work in preparing the set of Trustee recruitment and code of conduct documents, which were approved today, the last day of LGBT History Month 2022.

Film Festival:

We also are pleased to announce on this same auspicious day, the exciting news of completion of preparation for a Network and Dorset Race Equality Council, Bournemouth University (BU) Events Management Team collaborative project.

This involves a Bournemouth area international LGBTQ+ film festival that will look at topics and issues particular to LGBTQ+ community members who are from our ethnic minority communities, and seek to develop a platform for supporting the voice and inclusion in LGBT and ethnic minority communities of the LGBTQ+ ethnic minority intersectional community. We shall provide more news of our film festival collaborative initiative in March: the festival will conclude with discussion events (online and in actual physical locations) in the first week of May.

Network statement on Ukraine invasion

The LGBT Network for Change gives it’s heartfelt solidarity with all of the people of Ukraine at this time of unprovoked aggression and brutality by an external tyrannical regime led by Vladimir Putin.  In Russia and Belorussia for many years, LGBT & LGBTQ+ people have been persecuted, tortured and murdered by populist homophobic, transphobic, and biphobic mobs and bullies, given encouragement to do so by the anti-LGBT oppression of the Putin regime, and its allies in the more extreme element of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Now this culture threatens our LGBT & LGBTQ+ brothers and sisters in Ukraine,  We call on Western governments in general, and the UK Government, and the Government of the Republic of Ireland to in their actions in support of Ukraine and its people, to remember and take clear actions on support for Ukraine’s LGBT & LGBTQ+ community, that will particularly be targeted if the invasion and occupation of Ukraine is completed, 

The Network asks those Western Governments to make provision for potential Ukrainian LGBT & LGBTQ+ refugees and asylum applicants to be given support and protection, and particularly that they do not in the UK face the type of Home Office anti-LGBT ‘hostile environment’ all too well-known established dire record on in regard to genuine applicants from our community (a topic the Network has been now for some years particularly effective in Parliament/Westminster on highlighting.

We call on all UK and Ireland LGBT organisations and community groups to provide their support and solidarity with Ukraine and the LGBT & LGBTQ+ community.

The Network will be ready to make representations, such as to the UK Home Office and Foreign Affairs Commonwealth and Development Department where and if needed on this very serious crisis and matter.

LGBT History Month 2022 – LGBT+ Network for Change article for Dorset Race Equality Council

Celebrating LGBT History Month 2022: What LGBT History Month is and why it matters regarding BAME and LGBT+ communities interaction – a short article by the LGBT+ Network for Change

The LGBT+ Network for Change — — (LGB&T Dorset Equality Network), is pleased to provide this article for Dorset Race Equality Council (DREC) on the occasion of LGBT History Month 2022.  The theme of this year’s LGBT History Month is Art. 

We wish to on this occasion, record on an this year’s LGBT History Month theme of the Arts, to provide reference to another direct, meaningful, project in the education (FE) sector that has lead to true and very positive change, including from its local Bournemouth and Poole origins leading to national level influence. 

Concerning this, this year marks ten years since the ‘Time for Change – NOW! Anti-Homophobia Olympics Legacy Exhibition Project’ — — took place.

This project took place in 2012 at Bournemouth & Poole College’s Art & Design Department (North Road Campus) with subsequently the Network’s principal initiator, Alan Mercel-Sanca, as the client: the exhibition went on to achieve national level importance, including featuring the pull up panels designed by the 25+ BPC Arts & Design Department students under the brilliant guidance of the department’s teachers and lecturers, at the National Football Museum in Manchester, and inspiring the Stonewall organisation in aspects of their work. This project transformed the college’s support and engagement on LGBT and LGBTQ engagement and support, leading as well to extensive mental health benefits for those taking part and across most of the BCP staff and students community.

We conclude this article with an Arts theme, in announcing news of a project, about to commence, that is a true successor of the Bournemouth & Poole College exhibition project. 

The Network is therefore delighted to announce that we are working with Bournemouth University, through its Events Management team on a new LGBT+ inclusion and anti-prejudice arts related educational project.  This concerns work we are currently undertaking with our friends at Dorset Race Equality Council (DREC) on profiling the special support needs and counteraction of anti-LGBT prejudice and racism challenges our Black And Minority Ethnic (BAME) LGBT+ community face. 

The benefits of the project will involve combined DREC and Network support to our pan-Dorset BAME LGBT community, with the initiative having broader potential national level importance. At more detailed real day to day life level the project will lead to seeing through this collaborative Network – DREC initiative, progressively at workplace (such in NHS hospitals, in offices, in shops, etc.) structured support, signposting, and consultation on policy and performance of local authorities and public service organisations regarding BAME LGBT community members needs, and of course related broader education initiatives such as the BU project exemplifies.

Sharing between the two Protected Characteristic communities what their respective experiences of discrimination and prejudice are, provides a valuable broadening of perspectives which is effective in counteracting prejudice and discrimination across minorities and in regard to the particular issues and needs of this ‘intersectional’ community.

Please watch the LGBT+ Network for Change and DREC websites for more news in the coming weeks!

LGBT+ Network for Change

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Network message for LGBT History Month 2022

The theme of LGBT History Month 2022 is ‘Art.’ More on this in the second part of this article. LGBT History Month takes place every year.

Some history: the month of February having been chosen for LGBT History Month, from the month in 2003 when the infamous Victorian scale homophobic ‘Section 28’ was brought in by the then UK Government (May 1988), clearly under the influence of extreme anti-LGBT religious and other phobic elements utilising the AIDS epidemic, to de-facto persecute LGBT, and especially gay and bisexual men.

History Month has the dual purpose of celebrating the contributions LGBT people have contributed to the world, all nations, cultures, and society since the earliest of times, AND also to highlight the story and record [to help by this crucially important knowledge, to effect meaningful change in the present] of anti-LGBT persecutions that have taken place in many lands and societies (but NOT all) from the earliest times, but especially the medieval period.

And in regard to the Victorian era (see article below in reference to the British Government’s imposition of ‘Section 377’ under a Lord Macauley) when in many lands across the world that were, after de-facto invasion, occupation, and exploitation by, over centuries those who instituted, directed, and profited by the British Empire. Regarding the harm done by the latter, directed from Whitehall – Westminster, the example of India is instructive:

To this day, the UK, has sadly a dark legacy of under it’s British Empire period, particularly it’s Victorian era phase, has a responsibility under a number of 19th Century UK Government administrations, for instituting laws in the British Empire occupied lands that made same-sex love a crime, and gave full rein to anti-LGB elements to persecute (including up to in practice, tormenting, torturing, murdering and of course driving to suicide) those who did not conform to heterosexual values and relations.

As such to this day, the worst homophobic elements in institutionally homophobic countries and cultures that were subject, under occupation, to these UK 19th Century laws, that carried over to post British Empire, modern restoration of independence times, provide legal bulwarks for state supported homophobia.

As LGBT History Month is ultimately about history, and history in the making, it is therefore on this occasion, it gives the LGBT+ Network for Change, great happiness to record that at the end of November 2021 with Barbados [a former British Empire, slave trade era land] chose on becoming a Republic, to institute in it’s new constitution, specific recognition of LGBT equality and human rights, overturning the British Victorian era homophobic laws that have given across many lands of the West Indies, subject to same, powerful support for the most ugly and extreme manifestations of homophobia.

The LGBT+ Network for Change, which originated in and remains directly active in its educational & related work in the pan-Dorset area, concentrates on a number of areas of support for meaningful [non ‘tick box’] Change. These include, but are not limited to challenging and providing educational solutions to the medieval and Victorian era anti-LGBT influences referred to above — such as the evil of LGBTQ+ homelessness, support for the voice of BAME LGBTs, the UK Home Office de-facto anti-LGBT ‘hostile environment,’ work for and with the UK Prison Service (HMPPS) on it’s challenge to establish LGBT & LGBTQ+ safe, prejudice-free custodial environments, and NHS workplaces free of de-facto anti-LGBT prejudice.

At the Bournemouth/Poole/Christchurch and Dorset area level we on the occasion of LGBT History Month 2022, we are Proud to record that through a year long engagement we secured for the BCP area major breakthroughs on our LGBT+ Homeless & Sofa Surfing campaign representation to the area’s Homeless engagement and support panel, with the fantastic result of a Diverse Communities (LGBT and BAME in particular) Homeless Reduction Board multi-agency group being instituted, with the BCP area ‘Community Action Network’ (CAN) having one of their team as coordinator.

Beyond this breakthrough, the Network’s direct multiagency LGBT & LGBTQ+ homeless initiative which was initiated at the end of 2020 has made and continues to make major advance, especially through work with our partner, Dorset Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust’s Steps to Wellbeing programme team.

This article concludes though on an Art and Education note, fitting directly to the Art theme of LGBT History Month 2022.


It is now ten years since the direct Arts enabled Anti-Homophobia Olympics Legacy Exhibition Project took place at Bournemouth & Poole College’s Art & Design Department ( The exhibition went on to achieve national level importance, including featuring the pull up panels designed by the 25+ BPC Arts & Design Department students at the National Football Museum in Manchester.

At the start of that project, some 20% of those students who subsequently involved in the project dynamically and with enthusiasm, where homophobic: all but one of those particular students made on their own, through facts and knowledge about the origins, nature, and anti-social/socially incompetent, and mental health impacts of anti-LGBT prejudice changed to provide very direct personal commitment to the project because of realisation of the full corrosive & destructive impacts on heart mind and conduct of being enslaved by prejudice & ignorance.

At this time, we/the Network is also delighted to update that we are working with Bournemouth University, through its Events Management team on a new LGBT+ inclusion and anti-prejudice arts related educational project.  This concerns work we are currently undertaking with our friends at Dorset Race Equality Council (DREC) on profiling the special support needs and counteraction of anti-LGBT prejudice and racism challenges our Black And Minority Ethnic (BAME) LGBT+ community face.  The project, led by a Bournemouth University Events Management students team, launches shortly and will focus on an online World/Global LGBT+ related films review and subsequent discussion of learning, event (in early May). 

LGBT+ Network for Change


Network Team page

Details coming before the end of December 2021. The page will include brief biographical details of the Lead Officer, Chairs and Board, and Advisors. In some cases, where appropriate email addresses of team members will be provided.

Network new Working Name and organisation Constitutional Objects and associated charity structure bring much needed outreach and influence development:

The Network has completed the main stages of it’s reorganisation, which included Charity Commission authorisation of our new Working Name ‘LGBT+ Network for Change’ and adjustment of aspects of our constitution Objects. Both of these bring the Network up to date with its pan-UK and enablement of pan-British Isles activity and strategy, whose development began 2+ years ago resulting from the major impact and nature of our more national to international level work and specialist interest areas successful work record and it’s impacts (reflected in our news items).

However, we have retained as our legal, Charity Commission authorised, founding name of ‘LGB&T Dorset Equality Network’ as this reflects the location of origin and continued activity in a number of areas in this locality; similarly our revised constitution includes specific reference to the pan-Dorset/BCP area, where we maintain a Chapter/branch of the Network. The experience base of this area has been very important in the evolution of the organisation’s work, and in areas such as our LGBT & LGBTQ+ homeless support multi-agency initiative, NHS engagement and partnerships, and with the prison service.

The Network now has to Co-Lead/Chairs of the Board, Ms Erin Greenslade and Mx Mattier Viner; the Dorset Chapter has Fr John Hyde as it’s local Chair.

A Network Team page is being developed for our website, and will be complete before late December 2021.

Network LGBT & LGBTQ+ Homeless initiative update: completion of Bournemouth area consolidation – opening of opportunity for other areas of UK development:

Update: the Network LGBT & LGBTQ+ homeless and hidden homeless multi agency initiative has now (end of November 2021) seen completed preparation of all the main components for it’s Bournemouth-Christchurch-Poole area pilot. The locality, possessed all of the necessary factors for being a pilot that could with some minor adjustments, be able to be utilised elsewhere in England, but for this to be possible the Network had to complete to the right level the Bournemouth-Christchurch-Poole area components.

We are therefore for very pleased to announce this has now been undertaken. In particular the components include:

— Information resources development for NHS mental health support use (the groundwork on this achieved, including with funding support from Bourne Free LGBT Pride, JP Morgan, and others up to Autumn 2021, the expansion and role out phase is commencing from early 2022), including dedicated training for relevant staff

— A BCP Council area Homeless Partnership/Forum to undertake creation of a dedicated Diverse Communities homeless support sub-group, with clear defined LGBT outreach specifics (this has now been established, with the Network playing a key role, linked to delivery of aspects of our LGBT & LGBTQ+ homeless and hidden homeless initiative

— For the conurbation’s FE college to partner with us on FE college specific awareness information resources and related training and signposting mechanisms — now this has been agreed by Bournemouth & Poole College (further to initial flagging up of the key FE age group dimension of our initiative: please see the first news item on:

— That Dorset Police could be engaged to support the initiative in regard to policing and crime prevention/reduction on safety and safeguarding aspects of experiences of LGBT & LGBTQ+ homeless community members, and most of all ‘hidden homeless / sofa surfing homeless.’ The Network has secured the enthusiastic support of the Dorset Police & Crime Commissioner in conjunction with the appropriate Dorset Police officer, as a result of outcomes of a dedicated Network and DPCC meeting in late October 2021. In early 2022 we shall be completing a training resource and an operational support strategy for Dorset Police’s relevant services and officers, as a result of the outcomes of the meeting referred to

Major advance on LGBT+ human rights protection and UK Immigration achieved through Network contribution to Parliamentary Select Committee inquiry

The Network has long established a record of mobilising scrutiny on the operational level performance of the UK immigration services performance on LGBT & LGBTQ+ safety, equality, and human rights. This has included representations to the Home Office, UKVI, the Immigration Tribunal, and in some cases LGBT organisations with interests in this area, as well as to the NHS England LGBT engagement group.

In particular though our extensive experience and expertise in this area — where we are seeking transparency and accountability at the Home Office and Tribunal, with goal of comprehensive change of culture and practice — we have over recent years had a number of submissions to major relevant Parliamentary Select Committee inquiries.

However, the most recent of these by the highly important and influential House of Commons Women & Equalities Select Committee (Womeq) has been the most significant of all as it has centred on Protected Characteristic Communities (de-facto LGBT in this case) Equality and the UK Immigration system: please see

We included for example in our evidence about our recent and ongoing work with our LGBT & LGBTQ+ Ugandan community’ in Uganda, and the issues relating to UK Government (FCDO) performance, impacted by the Home Office UK Immigration record on LGBT human rights, and also some concerns on LGBT refugee and asylum applicants category omission from the Census 2021 questions, as well as major themes of concern on very senior Home Office officials treatment of LGBT cases.

Out of about 25+ published submissions only about five were directly from dedicated LGBT organisations (some better known names being absent altogether), with the Network’s evidence being one of these. In addition, one of the other five published submissions came from Bournemouth University: with the Network lead, Alan Mercel-Sanca involved in contributing his/the Network’s knowledge and expertise in this field to help guide and input on an LGBT refugees & asylum seekers and UK immigration research and working group creation; without which the latter would have been all but impossible.

The published paper by the Network will therefore be helping the Select Committee to inform effective scrutiny of UK government officials performance in this area (and indeed more broadly, including better awareness of the Immigration Tribunal dimension), as we have long sought, and contributing to better transparency on that performance at detailed level that will progressively influence for meaningful change.

You can read the Network submission at: